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Camel - Stationary Traveller CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.43 | 700 ratings

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Frankie Flowers
3 stars "Stationary Traveller" is a very good 80's album. It wasn't love at first listen for me but I initially at least thought it was good and better than it's predecessor "The Single Factor". Its theme is about the trials of East German refugees attempting to cross the Berlin Wall into West Berlin, so there's a very European feel (dare I say German feel like the album Harbour of Tears is Irish). For me, it does manage to bring to mind post war Europe. The overall sound is quite suitably moody. Camel had really developed a mature and sophisticated style here which they evolved even more later on.

The various synthesizer work stands out throughout the album. I especially like the dark keyboards at the beginning of "Vopos". There are plenty of cool guitar moments too, like on the opening instrumental "Pressure Points". One touching track is definitely the title track with Latimer on pipes as well as guitar. The grand piano playing is also very nice. Other great tracks are "West Berlin", "Fingertips" (which is very mellow with some piano, fretless bass and sax) and I adore the perhaps most touching "After Words" which includes some accordian. The ending "Long Goodbyes" is also a good track, particularly for the melancholy verses.

In all, this proved Camel to be a top group in the eighties and maybe a shame there was an eight year gap before "Dust And Dreams" came along. The album isn't like the band's more progressive work of the seventies and therefore probably isn't the best place to start exploring their music. It isn't essential but still a very enjoyable album, nice for any collection. Three and a half stars.

Frankie Flowers | 3/5 |


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